The Sam Different Horse Community Center gained its newest attraction this week with the construction of an exciting new "spider web" play place. Affectionately titled Iktomni, or "spider" in Lakota, the spider web provides a relaxing and fun environment for children and adults. Modeled after the Lakota medicine wheel, Iktomni is expertly painted black, red, yellow, and white. The web was donated by a European playground company, and was constructed by "Team Arachnid" a group of work campers from the First Church of Fairfield. Anthony Roach, 10, deemed Iktomni "really cool" and said that it was "his favorite thing constructed by a group this summer" as he lounged in the web. Anthony was not the only person who enjoyed the web, as 25 people (and 4 dogs!) congregated on the netting and enjoyed one of the most beautiful sunsets imaginable. Overall, Iktomni was an extremely powerful and fulfilling project because it not only brightens up the atmosphere of the community center but also provides an oasis where all people can come together and enjoy each other's company. Come get trapped in the web this summer! Swimming and other activities in the Cheyenne River was also a big hit with the kids. With the scorching dry weather the kids stayed in the water and didn't want to leave. Basketball and flag football also continued to be huge with the kids, as it was a good way for them to get their energy out with fun games. Working together to construct our friend, Steve's, new house is the last big project for the volunteer group. The house is an innovative masterpiece as the rafters are made of steel and the specific structure is the first of its kind in the area. It's been an honor to be a part of the Simply Smiles team and to meet everyone here in La Plant.
We've had a great week with all our new friends and can't wait to come back next year!
- Tom Gagne and David Harris